Teamwork and the Weird Thing about Harmony

weird thing about harmony and teamwork

Your people all have different roles and personalities, yet you want them working together. It would be easier if they all saw eye-to-eye, but that’s not how it works. I learned a great lesson about teamwork when I sang in a quartet. Let me explain the weird thing about harmony.

Each member of a quartet has a different role, a different approach, and even a different personality. A quartet can’t be all bass singers – they would get along great but the sound would suffer. Harmony means singing different notes. You want those rich differences, so take time to make teamwork fun.

Some leaders have recruited people based on their ability to get along or fit into one train of thought. But they are trading group tranquility for rich performance and progress, and the results suffer. They lose the diversity and depth that comes from the blending of different personalities, opinions, and insights. To get ahead of the competition, you need all those differences. That’s the weird thing about harmony.

Harmony means singing different notes. So does teamwork.

Success comes to organizations that can effectively recruit people who have a passion for their mission, but who have very diverse personalities, backgrounds, and perspectives. Let each personality bring its unique skill set to the process. Try one of these ideas at your next meeting:

  • Actively appreciate the personalities that are different than your own. Each type has a unique skill set that comes naturally and can be tapped.
  • Review communication skills, including how you say what you say. Sometimes our tone or body language undermines our ability to work together.
  • Understand how certain words trigger emotional responses, some positive and some negative.
  • Build a consensus together instead of one person pushing an agenda.
  • Learn to appreciate conflict! Listen to the other opinion. It’s an opportunity to see another point of view.
  • Maintain respect for others, especially when you’re disagreeing.

My quartet worked hard on teamwork, and it showed. We were even invited to sing in Washington DC. The best teamwork skills encourage the respectful merging of different opinions to reach a common goal. That’s the weird thing about harmony. It’s diverse, rich, and beautiful. Your team can make beautiful music together, too. You haven’t peaked yet!

Get more performance out of your most valuable and expensive business assets – your people. Contact me to find out how.